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Asthma

Gasping for Air? Put Down That Spray Cleaner

Wednesday, November 07, 2007 by: Laura Weldon
Tags: asthma, household cleaners, health news

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(NewsTarget) Until recently, people who experienced respiratory problems from household use of spray cleaners had no facts to back up their claims of shortness of breath or wheezing. That has changed.

 

Previous data linking health risks to spray cleaners was based on occupational users such as custodians. Using cleaning products all day, every day has been linked to an array of illnesses. But now results of a new epidemiological study are in which are relevant to anyone who spritzes the bathroom mirror with window cleaner.

 

This European study tracked 3,500 people who had no history of asthma symptoms. After an average of nine years, the frequency of each person's cleaning product use was determined and factored against his or her current health. The overall conclusions may leave you aghast. Or gasping.

 

Using a spray cleaner only once a week increased the risk of developing asthma by almost 50 percent.

 

Among those who used sprays more frequently, four times a week, the risk of asthma was nearly doubled. The strongest effect was seen from the use of glass cleaners, air fresheners and furniture cleaners. Although women were found to be vulnerable to developing this respiratory disorder the study noted that men had an even higher likelihood of developing asthma when using spray cleaners.

 

The study's lead author, Jan-Paul Zock of the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology at the Municipal Institute of Medical Research in Barcelona, Spain, estimates that exposure to the chemicals found in cleaning products may account for one in seven adult onset asthma cases.

 

There are alternatives. Check out the eco-friendly cleaning suggestions offered by Worldwatch Institute at www.worldwatch.org/node/1484  


About the author

Laura Weldon lives on an organic farm and believes in bliss. Learn more about her book "Free Range Learning" by visiting at www.lauragraceweldon.com


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